I made this last week for my sister and her husband while they were in town. I don’t know if we were trying to impress them with some kind of kitchen wonders, but last Sunday night we (I) decided we would attempt to make our own cheese, roll out our own pasta, and whip up some lemon tarts… all after a long afternoon of walking around in the hot sun and a quick stop at our favorite wine bar. We all arrived home sweaty and exhausted, ready for the cooking fun to begin.
The cheese was an epic failure, the pasta was delicious but not on the table until 11:30pm. This salad, however, I whipped up and served right away and everyone loved it.
Bright, crunchy asparagus pieces are tossed with handfuls of leafy greens in a tangy dijon vinaigrette. But the real special part here is the salty, crunchy, nuttiness from the toasted sesame seeds and almonds. Plus, you can have it on the table in less than 15 minutes.
I’ll be making this one again and again…. with store bought cheese.
adapted from Farmhouse Table
serves 2-4 as a side.
2 cups asparagus, tender parts only, cut into 1 inch pieces (blanched)
a few handfuls of arugula or other salad greens (about 2 cups)
2 Tbs. sesame seeds, toasted
3 Tbs. sliced almonds, toasted
feta or other cheese, optional
dressing: (use only as much as needed, there will be extra)
1 shallot, minced
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. white wine or champagne vinegar
1 Tbs. dijon mustard
1/3 c. olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
salt & pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is boiling, get a medium bowl of ice water ready. Drop asparagus into the boiling water for 30 seconds or until it’s bright green but still crunchy. Remove from boiling water and transfer to the bowl of ice water to quickly stop the cooking process. Once asparagus is cooled, lay it to dry on a towel.
Toast sesame seeds and almond slices in a small skillet with a few pinches of salt. Set aside.
Whisk all dressing ingredients together.
Toss arugula and asparagus in the dressing (taste and decide how much or little you want to use).
Arrange greens on a platter and top with the toasted almonds, sesame seeds & a bit of cheese if you wish.